Cyprus — Things to Do
Things to do in Cyprus include ecotours that take you around the beautiful countryside and coastal areas to explore the Akamas Peninsula, the Turkish baths, learning to dive, wandering around archeological sites and marveling at the variety of fine churches and palaces. The obvious delights of a trip here are the plethora of water sports including boating and fishing, and lazing on a beach to balance your tan with adventures hiking or mountain biking in the Troodos Mountains.
The tourism industry is exceptionally well organized, with tour companies in all the favorite beach resorts ready to help you make the most of your vacation. For do-it-yourself travelers, car rental is the best way to visit the more remote villages, towns and sites of interest at your convenience. In north Cyprus you’ll find a different cultural vibe and less crowded attractions. In the south, there are more things to do, although they’re packed with visitors in the summer high season.
One of the best ways to enjoy Cyprus’ stunning coastline is to rent a motorboat, and after a quick lesson, set off around the stunning Akamas Peninsula to the glorious Blue Lagoon. On the way you can go dolphin and sea turtle-spotting, and snorkeling. Latchi Watersports has 40 to 140 hp boats you can use from an hour to a full day, and don’t forget to pack a picnic because the tiny, deserted bay is an unforgettable experience.
Perusing Cyprus’s ‘big three’ Roman archeological sites is a fascinating trip back in time. Make a point to explore ancient Salamis with its city walls, the Roman baths, the agora and forum, the Temple of Zeus and the Basilica of St Epiphanius. Ancient Kourin’s world-famous Pafos Floor Mosaics are enhanced by sympathetic restoration to the complex itself. While you’re in the area, stunning Cedar Valley has dozens of nature trails set against soaring mountains, perfect for walking, hiking and trekking, with the Kalidonia Trail a none-too-taxing wander along a rushing stream.
The waters off Cyprus have great diving, with the Zenobia wreck considered the best in the Mediterranean. Getting up close and personal with groupers, barracudas and conger eels is all part of the fun, and there’s a helicopter submerged nearby for a change of scenery. If you’re a beginner, Sunfish Divers will teach you the necessary skills and direct you to the best dive sites, including sea caves with tunnels, bizarre rock formations and canyons all home to a rich variety of underwater marine life.
A four-wheel drive excursion to the Troodos Mountains is a bumpy ride, but showcases the beauty and heritage of the central range. The views from the peak of Mount Olympus are breathtaking, as are the waterfalls, and Kykkos Monastery holds an icon depicting the Virgin Mary reputed to have been painted by St Luke. Wineries dot the lower slopes, and a visit to the vintners’ village of Omodhos is a must. Nearby is the lace-making town of Lefkara, with Aeolos Travel providing a fun whole-day tour with a driver.
Northern Cyprus is the place for an authentic experience enjoyed by locals for hundreds of years, - the Turkish bath. The restored Omeriye Hamam close to Famagusta dates back to the 14th century and offers a relaxing, pampering experience complete with massage. Mountain biking trails here involve single tracks, forest trails, country roads, gravel tracks, rally stages and ski pistes, all leading down through pristine countryside to lakes and picturesque villages. Amaaaze are the adventure specialists for the sport.